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Oregon Expands Support for Solar and Other Renewable Energy

July 12, 2007

Oregon has followed up passage of a new Renewable Energy Standard (RES) with a series of laws to boost applications of solar and other renewable energy technologies. Among other benefits, the measures are expected to attract more solar manufacturers to the state.

The RES, which requires that 25 percent of the state's electric load come from renewable energy by 2025, was adopted in April. By the end of June, the Oregon State Legislature and Governor Ted Kulongoski had wrapped up the legislative session by passing a number of laws to further promote renewables. Some highlights include:

Other bills were passed that encourage development, distribution, and use of biofuels; establish energy efficiency standards for appliances and electrical equipment; authorize development of rules relating to ocean wave energy facilities; strengthen enforcement of vehicle emissions standards; and support development of hydrogen technology.

After passage of the legislation, Kulongoski said, "This will be remembered as a banner year for solar energy in Oregon," said Governor Ted Kulongoski. "We have already attracted two new major solar manufacturers to the state, with more likely on the way."

The two companies Kulongoski was referring to are SolarWorld AG and Solaicx®. SolarWorld AG, based in Germany, is building a solar silicon wafer and solar cell production facility in Hillsboro. The plant is expected to become the largest solar factory in North America if it reaches its projected capacity of 500 megawatts by 2009. Solaicx, based in California, is constructing a plant in Portland that will produce monocrystalline silicon ingots, which are used in photovoltaic panels.

For more information on the legislation, see a summary of energy bills enacted by the legislature, which was compiled by the Oregon Department of Energy.

Sources: July 3 and July 11 articles in Renewable Energy Weekly.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Oregon, see:

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Content Last Updated: 09/21/2011